PKK fault locals for electoral choice

The PKK has expressed dismay over a decrease in the number of votes cast for the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP), which traditionally receives most of its votes from the Southeast, in the July 22 elections.

PKK fault locals for electoral choice
The terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has expressed dismay over a decrease in the number of votes cast for the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP), which traditionally receives most of its votes from the Southeast, in the July 22 elections.

The DTP's predecessor, the Democratic People's Party (DEHAP), had earned 236,000 votes (56 percent) in the southeastern city of Diyarbakır during the 2002 general elections, while the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) had received 67,000 votes (about 15 percent of the vote). In this year's election, the DTP deputies who ran as independents received less than 200,000 votes, roughly 42 percent of the vote in Diyar-bakır. The AK Party received 41 percent, up from 15 percent five years earlier.

Many DTP members, including senior officials and local chapter heads, have been tried on charges of having ties with the terrorist group. Sebahat Tuncel was in prison pending trial for suspected membership in the PKK until recently when she was released upon her election to Parliament as a deputy for the DTP. The DTP officially denies any links to the PKK.

The terrorist PKK was most unnerved about the DTP's election failure in the eastern and southeastern provinces. The PKK's jailed leader, Abdullah Öcalan, serving a life term on a prison island near İstanbul, as well as other senior figures in the terrorist group harshly criticized the DTP in separate statements. The terrorist organization, which has been trying to use the country's Kurds for its separatist purposes, interpreted the loss of votes for the DTP as declining support for the PKK. However, it was also infuriated by a statement from the DTP deputies, who announced that they wouldn't engage in acts that could cause political crises. "We will not be putting on any shows," the DTP legislators said.

The terrorist organization's political wing, the KCK, released a harsh statement calling on the DTP members to refrain from denying their "past."

Duran Kalkan, one of the leaders of the terrorist organization, complained of a serious erosion in popularity. "There is a loss of votes. That means that local administrators [elected from the DTP] are not doing enough. The DTP's organization is weak. There are serious weaknesses in the national democratic organization and struggle; because in these regions the vote percentage has fallen below the level received in the previous election. We have to change this trend. If this downward decline is not stopped, we could face a narrowing of our grassroots, which is unacceptable. In order to stop this erosion, our line of freedom should be brought to the people through intense propaganda and organizational work. It's everybody's duty to go to every house and engage in propaganda and recruitment work."

Öcalan said the DTP's loss was a result of the party's blunder. "They used my name and they were able to get only 20 deputies into Parliament. What would they do without me? They should quit if they can't pull this off," he said. Öcalan warned that if the DTP was not going to work well, the next thing it would lose would be the local administrative offices in its hands. He also demanded "compensation for the loss of votes."

Terrorists put pressure on locals

While the election clearly showed that the region's people are not interested in ethnic politics the PKK, unhappy with the situation, has started to put pressure on the people. On July 31, the group kidnapped nine villagers, including four children.

Many in the area say the PKK's reason for taking villagers hostage was the DTP's failure in the July 22 election. In a recent incident, the terrorists killed a villager who refused to give food and supplies to them in Cepkenli Village in Van. People here suggest that the PKK is likely to continue kidnappings in the region as an attempt to scare the locals and force them into voting for the DTP in local elections next year.

DTP Deputy Chairman Nurettin Demirtaş, who evaluated the election result in a party meeting, said he believed the DTP had failed to produce concrete projects that explain its party program.

The DTP will be holding an extraordinary party congress in September.
DTP promises program that speaks for the oppressed

The Democratic Society Party (DTP) held a meeting of its parliamentary group on Wednesday. Speaking to journalists before the meeting, DTP Deputy Chairman Nurettin Demirtaş expressed his belief that increasing Turkey's standards of democracy would facilitate greater participation of the people in politics and give them the opportunity to assert their rights.

Demirtaş expressed his opinion that all of Turkey's problems, from improving living standards for the average citizen, to unemployment, poverty, traffic accidents and even water shortages, would be resolved by increasing the standard of democracy.

"Even though we are being represented with a small group in Parliament, we are experiencing the proud contentment of having a group in Parliament, which gives way to the hope of opening a new page in the name of democracy and relieving tension in the country," he said.

He said the group's working program would be made public in a short time. "This program will be a roadmap and it will greatly comfort the entire country," he said, adding that the DTP group's program would speak for all those sections of society that are oppressed, turned into "others," and will also improve Turkey's international reputation.

Today's Zaman
Last Mod: 09 Ağustos 2007, 15:11
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